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MP's call to fly flag for England's Cup games




MP Nick Boles with the St George's flag
MP Nick Boles with the St George's flag

The St George’s flag will fly over Number 10 Downing Street for England’s remaining World Cup matches after Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles called for a show of patriotism.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the pledge during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday after Mr Boles launched an online petition to campaign for the move for buildings, including police stations, court houses and town halls, to fly the flag of St George.

She told MPs: “No 10 will be flying the England flag on the day of each of England’s matches from now on. We will be encouraging other government departments to do the same.”

Speaking to the Mercury afterwards, Mr Boles (Con) said: “I am delighted but it is not just 10 Downing Street.

“I hope that other public buildings across the country will do the same and not because they have been told to but because they feel encouraged to do so.

“This year’s World Cup seems to have captured a mood. Having b e e n disappointed and perhaps disillusioned by previous England teams in both their attitude and performance, this team have really impressed

us.

“England manager Gareth Southgate seems to have instilled a really good spirit in them.

“The public who didn’t expect the England team to do well are now excited and it is a good opportunity for public bodies across the country to show their support.

“In a time when so many things divide us, when it comes to the World Cup, it doesn’t matter who we are, we can all get behind our team.”

So far, England have beat Tunisia and Panama in the group stages.

As the Mercury went to press yesterday, England were due to face Belgium in the last game of the group stages but whatever the outcome of that game, both teams were due to progress from Group G to the next stages of the

competition.

Mr Boles would also like to see the flag being flown more after the World Cup finishes on July 15.

He echoed his previous calls to make St George’s Day a Bank Holiday but said that England going all the way to the final and bringing home the trophy would give that call more impetus.

Despite his delight, Mr Boles acknowledges concerns about flying the cross of St George, adding: “I understand that people are worried that the England flag has become a symbol of a far right racist group and don’t want to be seen to be encouraging it. I don’t want to encourage it either but my answer is to reclaim the flag as a symbol of support for the whole country.

“I understand the concerns but we shouldn’t be embarrassed to fly our

flag.

“I am delighted with the campaign - I only wish that other campaigns would catch on so quickly.”

- You can read more about Nick’s reasons behind the campaign in his column on page 87.

- We would also like to hear about what you think about the campaign? Do you agree with the MP or rather his time be used elsewhere? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or e-mail smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk



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